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Email to paper claims to be from fugitive Kentucky lawyer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Someone claiming to be a fugitive Kentucky lawyer at the center of a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case has contacted a newspaper to spell out proposed terms of his surrender.

Disability lawyer Eric C. Conn, who disappeared a month before his sentencing, faces an outstanding FBI warrant for his arrest. The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2sQLGh7 ) reports the terms received in an email to the newspaper included that Conn not be charged with crimes related to fleeing. Among other suggested terms for surrender include a request that they be made available for public review.

Conn’s attorney, Scott White, told The Associated Press on Sunday that he also received an email with some of the same details and is convinced it was from his client due in part to Conn’s particular style of writing. He added that “my certainty is 99 percent.” White said the terms outlined in both the email to him and to the newspaper were identical, adding that “sealed it for me.”

White said that after looking into attorney-client restrictions, he provided some information to the FBI.

The AP was unable to confirm whether the emails were from Conn.

FBI spokesman David Habich only said Sunday that the agency is trying to locate him.

The FBI has said Conn’s electronic monitoring device was found June 2 in Lexington, Kentucky, in a backpack along Interstate 75.

A $20,000 reward has been offered for information leading authorities to Conn, who pleaded guilty in March to stealing from the federal government and bribing a judge. He faces up to 12 years in prison and has agreed to pay the government tens of millions of dollars.

According to the email sent to the newspaper Friday, the person claiming to be Conn said he fled because he believed it was unjust that two convicted judges would receive less prison time.

Former Social Security Administration judge David Daugherty faces up to four years in prison for taking more than $600,000 in bribes in cases involving Conn’s clients, authorities said. Charlie Paul Andrus, a former chief judge in the SSA’s Huntington office, faces up to 10 years on one count of conspiracy to retaliate against a witness, they added.

The email to the newspaper accused the U.S. justice system of ensuring that “the country’s political class receives preferential treatment” while the “politically powerless are treated with extreme disdain.”

Ned Pillersdorf, who represents Conn’s former clients, took offense to the comments, saying in a Facebook post Sunday that the fraud victims are the ones who are powerless. He said the victims, “at least those who have not committed suicide, have been left to deal with homelessness, despair, and misery.”

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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